News Release

New flexible soft-solid MOF composite membrane boosts H2/CO2 separation

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy Sciences

Abstract Image

image: A silver bullet for membrane innovation — flexible, defect-free composite membrane sets a new record for MOF membrane series in H2/CO2 separation. view more 

Credit: DICP

Molecular sieve membrane-based separation technology, featured with low energy consumption and small carbon footprint, has attracted much attention in gas separation.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are promising in gas separation membranes due to their diversified structures, high porosity and tailored functionalities. However, defect-free MOF membrane fabrication still remains challenging.

Recently, a research group led by Prof. YANG Weishen and Dr. PENG Yuan from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has fabricated flexible soft-solid MOF composite membrane on commercial polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) substrate.

Within the membrane structure, the quasi-vertically oriented, solid Zn2(Benzimidazolate)4 particles grown on PVDF substrate provided predominant molecular sieving gas entrances while soft polyamide eliminated defects enclosing MOF particles, resulting in better performance in H2/CO2 separation.

This work was published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. on Feb. 1.

This robust defect-free composite membrane exhibited an outstanding anti-swelling capacity in condensable feedstock. It showed superior separation accuracies for large C2H6 and C3H8 exclusions.

Moreover, the researchers prepared the Zn2(Bim)4 composite membrane with ultra-high MOF loading and excellent flexibility. After membrane folding and unfolding at 90° for 50 consecutive times or rolling into a tube with a diameter of 3 mm (the largest bending curvature that MOF membranes can endure), the membrane separation performance remained exactly the same.

Soft-solid Zero Insertion Force(ZIF)-67 and ZIF-8 composite membrane series were also fabricated. Taking advantages of defect elimination, the intrinsic molecular sieving capacities of the MOF particles were given full play.

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.